Harajuku, Part 7: The next Orange Range - NOT!
Continue off from the sideshow of goth and glam, and you'll see a show of another kind: Rock and Roll.
Every Sunday, about a dozen or so bands set up along the sidewalk that runs in front of Yoyogi park. Most of them are hard rock outfits, though you'll find the occasional poppy/acoustic groups as well.
Most of these groups are aspiring professionals. They've invested huge amounts of money in their equipment, and massive amounts of time into honing their craft.
Some are even lucky enough to get paying gigs in clubs around town. They have friends come along to hand out flyers to get people to come see them play. These shows they do here serve as a type of free publicity. After all, you have to get people to come see you somehow.
But what's most amazing is how the groups seem to have some kind of tacit understanding. Though the bands were all set up within only a few metres of each other, no two adjacant bands were playing at the same time. It's almost as if there's a gentleman's agreement not to try and drown each other out.
Harajuku, part 6: On the scene
On this particular day, the place was buzzing with members of the press. These two were obviously part of of some TV show. I suppose those who can't (or won't) get in here themselves still like to take a gander at the funky carnival that goes on every week. Perhaps they even like to live vicariously through these daring souls who have the guts to shake off the shackles of this conformist society and dare to be different.
Harajuku, part 5: Gettin pretty
All this exhibitionism requires constant attention to details. It's not uncommon to see these girls pulling out their mirrors every few minutes to check their makeup. I can only imagine how much time they spend in front of the mirror at home getting ready.
Harajuku, part 4: Flair
Some of the costumes can be quite elaborate. This woman, who works a regular part-time job during the week, got together with some friends to put together their own little show. When I asked her why she does this, she just said two words: "it's fun."
Harajuku, Part 3: Kendo woman
This is Christine, an Assistant Language Teacher from the U.S. living in Tochigi prefefcture. It's one of the "country" prefectures, about an hour and half train ride away from the city.
Christine comes in to Harajuku most Sundays to put on her own show in the park. She's been practicing Kendo--the Japanese form of fencing--for a couple of years now. She thought it would add a bit of a different flavour to the Harajuku scene, so she decided to come down and join the show.